December 7 2021
7:04 AM
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Oregon's Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.9% in August as Oregon Adds 7,900 Jobs

Story by The Oregon Herald Staff
Published on September 16, 2021 11:46 PM
Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.9% in August from 5.2% in July Oregon's unemployment rate dropped below 4.9% in August and added 7,900 jobs, according to a new report by the Oregon Employment Office. It is the lowest rate since March 2020, when it was at 3.6%. The OED said that this was the third time since 1976 that the rate dropped below 5%.
PORTLAND, Oregon - Oregon's unemployment rate dropped to 4.9% in August from 5.2% in July. This was the first time Oregon's unemployment rate dropped below 5% since March 2020, when the rate was 3.6%. Oregon's unemployment rate was below 5% in only two other periods since 1976 when comparable records began: during 14 consecutive months in the mid-1990s when the rate dropped to as low as 4.5%; and during the 51 consecutive months during 2016 through March 2020 when the rate dropped to a record low of 3.3% in late 2019.

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% in August from 5.4% in July.

In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment grew by 7,900 in August, following monthly gains averaging 10,300 in the prior seven months. Gains in August were largest in government (+3,500 jobs); wholesale trade (+1,400); leisure and hospitality (+1,200); and professional and business services (+1,000). Only one major industry cut jobs: retail trade (-1,900 jobs).

Since the low point of April 2020, at the economic depths of the COVID-induced recession, Oregon has recovered 204,700 jobs, or 72% of the jobs lost during the recession.

Leisure and hospitality added 1,200 jobs in August, following a gain of 6,100, as revised, in July. Despite these gains, it still accounts for the bulk of Oregon's jobs not recovered since early 2020, with 44,300 jobs left to recover to reach the prior peak month of February 2020. The industry has regained 60% of jobs lost early in the pandemic.

Employment in health care and social assistance has been relatively flat all year. This major industry recovered substantial jobs in mid- through late-2020, but is still down 10,400 jobs, or 4%, since its pre-recession peak of February 2020. Over the past year, nursing and residential care facilities has been especially weak, having lost 1,300 jobs since August 2020. Meanwhile, two component industries have expanded in the past 12 months: ambulatory health care services (+3,100 jobs) and social assistance (+1,100 jobs).

Next Press Releases

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the August county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, Sep. 21, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for September on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

The PDF version of the news release can be found at QualityInfo.org/press-release. To obtain the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit QualityInfo.org, then within the top banner, select Economic Data, then choose LAUS or CES. To request the press release as a Word document, contact the person shown at the top of this press release.

To file a claim for unemployment benefits or get more information about unemployment programs, visit unemployment.oregon.gov.

Equal Opportunity program — auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.